Conditioning Specialists is the leading personal training studio for Santa Barbara, Montecito, Goleta, and Hope Ranch. Our personal trainers specialize in sports conditioning, weight loss, diet, nutrition, and lasting results. We work as a team in our private Santa Barbara personal training studio focusing on overall wellness and care of each individual. We also take pride as fitness professionals in giving back to the Santa Barbara community. Read the testimonials on our site and on independent sites - they speak for themselves. We look forward to working with you on your health, fitness, and wellness goals.


Will light weight with more reps help me lose weight?

Q: I was told that in order to lose weight and tone, I should lift light weight with more reps. Is that true?

A: If your workouts only consist of lifting light weights and some steady-state cardio, you most likely are not getting the results you want and are wasting your precious time. If your goal is to burn fat, improve muscle definition (i.e. look toned), and increase your fitness level, you should be lifting heavy! This is true for both men and women.

Lifting heavy is the key to weight loss because it promotes muscle growth. Losing fat involves increasing your metabolism and muscle plays a major role in that. Muscle burns fat four times more efficiently than the fat you have on your body. The more muscle you have, the more your body will be a furnace that burns up fat stores. The great effects from this type of workout are numerous on your mind and body, as heavy weight training:

Increases resting metabolic rate so you burn more calories during and after a workout. Makes you lean and slim since muscle takes up less space than fat. More muscle, less fat translates to smaller clothing sizes and that toned look. Strengthens bones and connective tissue, which will protect your body from aches, pains, and injuries.Builds the self-esteem and confidence you need to lift enough weight to stimulate muscle growth and  get the results you desire.

The question is, how much should you be lifting to be considered heavy? To lose weight, it is recommended to lift between 60-80% of your 1-rep max to stimulate muscle growth and loose fat. If you do not know your 1-rep max, choose a weight that allows you to correctly perform 6-8 repetitions of an exercise for 3 sets.

The important thing to remember when it comes to strength training is that you must give your muscles more weight than they can handle— that's how muscles grow. The challenge of lifting heavy is just as much a mental game as it is a physical one. If you haven't pushed your body's limits in a while, just the act of lifting any weight may be all you can handle. But, if you're consistent with a basic program and build a solid foundation of strength, you'll be ready for the next step—pushing your muscles to their limits by lifting heavy. You'll be amazed at the changes in your body!

A Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and TPI fitness professionalErin Holt (Desharnais) also holds a B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of New Hampshire.


As first seen in Santa Barbara Fitness Magazine